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Physicist Stephen Hawking – the world-famous author of A Brief History of Time – has died at the age of 76. For most of his life he was almost completely paralyzed by motor neurone disease

FILE - In this Wednesday, July 21, 1999 file photo Professor Stephen Hawking smiles during a news conference at the University of Potsdam, near Berlin, Germany. Hawking, whose brilliant mind ranged across time and space though his body was paralyzed by disease, has died, a family spokesman said early Wednesday, March 14, 2018.(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

Markus Schreiber/The Associated Press

  • 1963: First diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • 1966: Completes doctorate, awarded fellowship at Cambridge
  • 1968: Publishes highly-technical Large Scale Structure of Space Time
  • 1970: By integrating cornerstones of modern physics – Newtonian Theory of Relativity and quantum theory – Hawking proposes that black holes leak energy and fade to nothing, phenomenon known as Hawking radiation

ACCEPTED THEORY

Black holes are regions of space where gravity is so strong that not even light can escape

ACCRETION

DISK

EVENT HORIZON

Point at which nothing can escape – black hole becomes invisible

SINGULARITY

Theoretical region of infinite density and pressure

SOURCE: GRAPHIC NEWS

ACCEPTED THEORY

Black holes are regions of space where gravity is so strong that not even light can escape

ACCRETION

DISK

EVENT HORIZON

Point at which nothing can escape – black hole becomes invisible

SINGULARITY

Theoretical region of infinite density and pressure

SOURCE: GRAPHIC NEWS

ACCEPTED THEORY

Black holes are regions of space where gravity is so strong that not even light can escape

ACCRETION

DISK

EVENT HORIZON

Point at which nothing can escape – black hole becomes invisible

SINGULARITY

Theoretical region of infinite density and pressure

SOURCE: GRAPHIC NEWS

  • 1976: Hawking argues that when black hole disappears all information about everything ever inside hole disappears too. This leads to Black Hole paradox: If information is lost forever then science can never know the past or predict the future
  • 1985: After catching pneumonia he undergoes tracheotomy. Unable to speak naturally – communicates with head-controlled speech synthesizer
  • 1988: A Brief History of Time published, goes on to sell more than 10 million copies
  • 1993-2002: Writes books, essays and scientific articles explaining ways in which universe may be governed. Hawking’s celebrity status is acknowledged by The Simpsons – he is depicted drinking with Homer, suggesting he might steal Homer’s idea that universe is doughnut- shaped. Rock group Pink Floyd uses his synthesised voice for introduction to Keep Talking, on their 1994 album The Division Bell
  • 2007: Becomes first quadriplegic to experience weightlessness on board so-called “vomit comet”, modified plane specially designed to simulate zero gravity
  • 2014: Life story portrayed in film The Theory of Everything, charting his rise to fame and relationship with first wife, Jane
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